Welcome to The Raw Reaction, where I offer my thoughts on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We start off this week with Promo Time with Drew McIntyre. As Drew recapped last week’s title match and wanted to look into the future. Dolph Ziggler showed up announcing that him and Bobby Roode were traded to Raw for AJ Styles. Well, Raw could use tag teams. Dolph challenged Drew to a title match at Extreme Rules and Drew accepted. At least there is some backstory that can be built off as these two are former Raw Tag Team Champions. The backstory will help explain how Dolph is in the title match after repeatedly putting The Caterpillar over as a finishing move. Who will be jobbing out to Otis now?
Nia Jax is out for more Promo Time to complain about Charlotte Flair getting the title match tonight instead of her when R-Truth came out for his 24/7 Title defense. R-Truth called Nia Tozawa before Tozawa and the ninjas appeared to chase R-Truth to the back. Charlotte Flair showed up to save us have having to hear Nia’s promo continue. Charlotte told Nia she squandered two title matches and it was time to step aside. This cued up the predictable brawl between the two that gets broken up by referees. Charlotte’s left arm did not look good after the brawl. At least this feud with keep both away from the title right now.
Unfortunately, we are reminded again of the nonsense between The Street Profits and Viking Raiders before their title match begins. The match started off hot and fast leading into Erik catching Ford doing a dive to the floor and powerbombing him into a running Dawkins. Very unique, Guys. Bravo. Street Profits battle back and don’t want to be outdone so they hit the Viking Experience on Erik. The game of one-upmanship continues until Ford ends the match with a freakishly high frog splash to pick up the win for his team. I don’t know how he gets the height and hang time that he does. That’s gotta be a 10 Star Frog Splash. Great sportsmanship between the two teams after the match, which is something you always like to see. The Vega Job Squad attacked The Street Profits in a quick hit and run as the Viking Raiders returned to the ring to chase off Andrade and Garza. Neither of these two guys are serious threats anymore so I don’t expect much to come out of this but we might get a title switch.
Quick promo from Seth Rollins backstage on Rey Mysterio later followed by a replay of the Nia/Charlotte brawl. Charly Caruso caught up with Charlotte outside the trainer’s room to ask if she was ready for Asuka before coming across Angel Garza and Andrade. Charly makes googley eyes at Garza while he talks before Zelina Vega cracks the whip at them and said her team is ready for the tag team titles. Can we have more action please and less talk? It’s just as bad as last week.
We finally get back to in-ring action with Asuka defending her title against Charlotte. It was a shorter match than they had last time but it was still pretty good. Charlotte finally gave Auska her win back by tapping out clean to the Asuka Lock. So glad to see the push of Asuka continue and Charlotte finally put her over. After the match, Charly asked Nia for a comment. Nia replied that someone should kick Charlotte while she is down. I smell a feud brewing.
Edge does an amazing pretape promo on Randy Orton and his actions against him and Christian. Edge said that the Rated R Superstar is back and Randy better watch out. This was another amazing promo from Edge. His promos have really helped in this feud. It’s a shame Edge will be out for the rest of the year. I don’t know if they would be able to keep the steam going until Edge can get healed up.
Randy Orton offered up a quick rebuttal wishing Edge and Christian well in their recoveries.
Just what we need, another promo backstage with Charly. This time Nia attacks Charlotte to give her a storyline injury to go away for a couple of months. I was hoping these two would feud to keep them away from Asuka.
R-Truth comes back out for his scheduled title defense against Akira Tozawa. Bobby Lashley and MVP interrupt, taking out the ninjas and R-Truth. Tozawa uses a rare standard cover to capture the 24/7 title. Maybe we can have Truth go serious for a little bit and have a decent feud with Lashley.
More talking backstage, but Natalya says nothing of importance before her Three Minute Raw Special Match with Liv Morgan. Natalya did the old heel holding the submission longer after the bell spot and apparently Lana is her new BFF. Why is Liv being punished with these short meaningless defeats?
Later backstage, we have a wild Ruby Riott sighting wanting to talk to Liv. Are we really going to reform the Riott Squad? The Woman’s Tag Team division could use a couple of teams.
Big Show cuts a quick promo backstage (again?) about returning to his angry giant gimmick.
Raw Talk returns to the ring for Ric Flair to introduce Randy Orton. They banter back and forth before Orton decides to return to his Legend Killer gimmick. There’s Big Show’s cue and here he comes, ready to fight. Yay for gimmick changes. Can we please get some in-ring action?
Finally, in-ring action returns with the Women’s Tag Team Titles up for grabs between the IIconics and Sasha Banks/Bayley. Props to Peyton Royce with that beautiful fisherman’s suplex. Sasha and Bayley retain after Royce tapped to the Banks Statement. It was a decent effort, but the tag title match on NXT was far better with Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart looking really good. I’m still not sure why the IIconics were brought back. Anyway, after the match, Sasha teased the upcoming Smackdown Woman’s title feud between the two by wanting to challenge Asuka for the Raw Woman’s Title. Asuka rushes out to attack Sasha but gets caught in the Banks Statement instead. At least it is someone not named Charlotte or Nia.
More talking by MVP backstage before going out for the VIP Lounge with Apollo Crews. MVP wants to be Apollo’s manager but Apollo said no so MVP had Shelton Benjamin attack Apollo from behind.
Apollo picked up the win over Benjamin after another Three Minute Raw Special with the Toss Powerbomb, which looks impressive as a finisher. After the match, MVP was rejected sucking up to Apollo so Lashley came down to beat up Apollo. I think Crews/Lashley could be a good feud. Both need the win, though.
Main event time and it is more talking with the return of Rey Mysterio. Rey told Dominick that he was not happy with what he did last week going to Raw but he understood it. Rollins showed up with Murphy and Austin Theory not far behind. The trio hits ringside to bring out Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo to help even up the odds. Theory and Murphy get taken out first so the faces can have Rollins four on one. Black and Carrillo get taken out so the heels can try to do the eye spot with Dominick before Black and Carrillo end the segment with steel chairs to chase the heels off. Teddy Long is booking the four on three match for Extreme Rules as we speak. It was a good way to advance the story with Rey’s return and finally put Raw to an end.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows:
Charlotte finally gave Asuka her win back. The match was the best one of the night. Let’s hope this keeps Nia out of the title picture for a long time.
Edge delivered another amazing promo. He can keep the feud going with Orton just on the promos alone. The best line was wishing Cowboy Bob was fining blanks the night he was conceived. Just some great work to keep it feeling personal.
Can we please get some more in-ring action? Isn’t most of the roster based in Florida where we could get a few more people booked and featured? This “downtime” should feature some of the lesser used talent to help build them up so crowds will care for them when they return.
With cases spiking nationwide, please remember to stay safe out there.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.